Community comes together in time of need

Pablo Godoy addresses the attendees of "a night to remember" - a fundraiser for the migrant workers killed on Feb. 6th, 2012.

Over the past several weekends community members, organizations, and unions alike have come together to raise funds for the 14 people injured in the crash that killed 10 migrant workers in Hampstead, Ontario on February 6, 2012. To date, the Migrant Worker Family Support Fund has surpassed the $120,000 mark thanks in part to generous donations made at events organized by community leaders and organizations.

Here is a brief look into a few of those events:

Renison College, in Waterloo, was the site of one of the first fundraising initiatives. The event was organized by students and faculty at Renison College, who responded quickly by hosting a memorial and fundraiser one week after the accident. For the college’s faculty and students, the accident brought to light the increased need of the community to take an active role in fighting for migrant worker justice.

Also recently, the San Lorenzo Community Center, the Center for Spanish Speaking Peoples (CSSP) has played a key role in a couple of outstanding fundraising events. The first, an afternoon filled with great food, cultural performances, and a community discussion on what can be done to ensure that a tragedy like this does not occur again, raised almost $2,000. The successful event was accompanied by a vigil held at the San Lorenzo Church, where community members gathered to raise awareness and pay their respects to the people who were killed or injured in the tragedy.

“A Night to Remember” was an event organized by Juan Caranza Law Firm and Casa Maiz. The event was also a huge success and saw hundreds of people unite at the historic Lula Lounge, for a night of dinner, music and dancing. The event raised almost $20,000, which has graciously been added to the Migrant Worker Family Support Fund established by UFCW Canada. The event which featured live music, a silent auction and greeting from NDP MP Andrew Cash was attended by more than 350 people from the community. UFCW Canada national representative Pablo Godoy spoke at the memorable event and commented, “Seeing the community come together, really shows us how much we are all one people, and how we need to all work together in ensuring accidents like these don’t repeat themselves.”